Last week, it got hot, some might even say too hot. But the animals at Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable managed to stay cool and enjoy the sun thanks to some gigantic ice poles which the keepers made for them. Though giraffes are native to the plains of Africa, it doesn’t mean they don’t overheat sometimes, and the same goes for tigers which can survive intensely high or low temperatures.
It reached a sweltering 30C in Dunstable on Friday (June 17) as the entire country sweated through a blistering one-day mini-heatwave. While pet owners were worrying about keeping their dogs and cats cool, keepers at Bedfordshire’s zoo were coming up with inventive ways to keep their biggest animals happy.
Their solution to the scorching heat was to do what humans do, have an ice lolly. There’s nothing better on a hot summers day than getting your hands on a sweet ice pop to cool down. The keepers at Whipsnade created giant cubes of ice for the tigers to play with, while the giraffes got a hefty cube on top of a wooden pole to lick at.
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The tigers were splashing around in the water in their enclosure, as well as jumping around to investigate the massive red ice block left for them to find. They bit, scratched and chewed on the blocks all day, when they weren’t playing with a huge ball in the water. Meanwhile the giraffes were in heaven licking away at their lollies on super-long sticks – presumably held by the patient keepers.
What a sweet gesture from the keepers, though we’re not sure if the lollies were flavoured – perhaps they had special flavourings for the animals instead of the typical strawberry and orange we might assume due to the colours. Question of the day there; what is a giraffe’s favourite flavour lolly?